Bombay HC stresses on measures to ensure women’s safety

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It seems that the Bombay High Court has committed to take serious measures to ensure women’s safety . To ensure the same, the High Court directed the state government and various public transport undertakings to brief on their steps for protection of women particularly on public places.

While hearing a public litigation petition on the issue, a division bench consisting of Judges Abhay Oka and Girish Kulkarni issued notices on Friday to the Western and Central Railways, state and city bus transport authorities as          well as to the taxi and auto unions. The secretaries in the departments of health, education and social justice are also expected to receive the same from the court. Taking a serious view on the matter, the judges have fixed October 10 as the deadline by which all the concerned authorities must receive the notices and file their response by November 9.

Earlier, Chandrakant Palav, a senior citizen had filed the PIL, asking the court to direct the government to take necessary measures for protecting women against sexual assault. The PIL also suggested the need for a special dress code for women. Senior Advocate, Madhab Jamdar, the amicus curiae for the case came up with all possible issues in public places that posed as a threat for women. To counter the worries, the court asked the government and various departments to suggest necessary measures.

It is worth mentioning that in a 14 page note, Jamdar stated zero tolerance on crime of any nature against women. He further stressed on the need for immediate action without fail, even before any formal complaint is lodged. The suggestions even embraced schools, colleges, offices and gymnasiums – practically almost anywhere where safety of women is at stake. Furthermore, the need for counselors and psychiatrists were also emphasized to help girls and women in distress. Improved vigilance, installation of CCTV cameras, displaying helpline numbers in public places and illumination in poorly lit areas are some of the oft-repeated measures to ensure that the safety of women is given due importance.

Palav, who is also a social worker also stressed on the necessity of educating young people to dress properly to avoid unnecessary attention.